Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

DWD logo

Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 26, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Blueprint for Prosperity: DWD Seeks Wisconsin Fast Forward Applications for Innovative Programs to Train Workers with Disabilities

Up to $1 million in grants available; in line with Governor's A Better Bottom Line initiative

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today announced that DWD is accepting grant applications from businesses to train workers with disabilities under Governor Walker's $35.4 expansion of the Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training program. The expansion is part of the Governor's Blueprint for Prosperity initiative.

Up to $1 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward – Blueprint for Prosperity funds will be available for innovative workforce solutions to train workers with disabilities.

"Persons with disabilities have diverse strengths and skills that help improve a company's bottom line to the benefit of the employer and worker," Secretary Newson said. "Governor Walker is committed to developing Wisconsin's workforce in part through initiatives that encourage employers to hire persons with disabilities, and his Blueprint for Prosperity initiative invests additional Wisconsin Fast Forward funds in this key area."

DWD's Office of Skills Development is overseeing the grant implementation in partnership with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and the Office of Veterans Employment Services (OVS). The deadline for applications is September 16, 2014.

Highlights of the grant announcement include:

Additional considerations will be given to applications that include the following:

Earlier this year, Governor Walker signed legislation under Blueprint for Prosperity that added $35.4 million to the Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training program. The expansion targeted three areas, including grants to reduce wait lists at Wisconsin technical colleges, grants for collaborative projects among high schools, technical colleges, and employers to train high school students in industry-recognized certifications, and grants that enhance employment opportunities for workers with disabilities.

Under Governor Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity, the state also is expanding Project SEARCH, a program helping young people with disabilities transition from high school to the workplace. The expansion increases the number of participating businesses by 20, up from seven, over three years.

Governor Walker proclaimed 2014 as the Year of A Better Bottom Line to encourage and promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities. A Better Bottom Line is tailored after Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative with the National Governor’s Association, which details the vast benefits for employers, employees, and communities.

The grant program announcement and application can be accessed at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/wff/prosperity/

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